Surrender for an Editor

It’s been rather quiet here on this blog but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes…or maybe that’s screens. Anyway, I wanted to update you a bit on where we are at.

I finished the first draft of the book. It’s back to one book instead of two which makes it a lengthy one but it just didn’t feel right forcing it into two. Four people read through it and gave their comments and suggestions. I even managed to get an endorsement from my mentor, Dr. Raymond Moody. After going through it a second time continuing to clean it up, it was ready for the next step.

As my choice is to self-publish, I went back again to Amazon. They published my first book and it was a good experience. But it’s been ten years since that book came out so things have changed just a bit. In fact, they no longer offer any of the services a self-publisher needs in house. They list some suggestions but basically, you’re on your own.

So, the first thing I needed was a good editor. The search was on. Now…I know that one can expect prices to double about every ten years but as I inquired about estimates for my book, I was shocked. At approximately 177,000 words I could expect to pay $12,000 or more for in-depth editing.  When I revived from my faint, I sank into a bit of a depression. I’d still need a book cover for paperback and eBook created and interior formatting for both formats. How was I going to manage that?

Well…as I wrote the book, I recognized a team of inner planes supporters forming to help me somewhat like my first book. In fact, I think there are some of the same helpers. I often expressed my concern about various points that came up along the way. Over and over again I was told to focus on my part of the work and they would take care of everything else. Okay. So…I surrendered. I don’t know how to make this work but you do. I hand this over to you.

And things shifted…

I was led to some very good information which led me to some great sites to consider editors which led me to one I was very much interested in as she had 11 years’ experience working for Llewellyn, the world’s oldest and biggest publisher of books for body, mind and spirit. I queried her and several others for estimates. The first to answer who not only loved the idea of my book but offered a very reasonable estimate for her work? Yep…my lady from Llewellyn. We started work yesterday (Monday, July 15). It should take about a month.

This is a massive project. It’s exciting and nerve-wracking. But it’s happening…it’s happening. My hope is to publish before the end of the year. Next, I’ll be looking for a cover designer.

I’ll keep you informed about our progress. Thanks for staying with me.

Where We’re At

It’s been a while since I last wrote so I just wanted to let you know where we’re at with the new book. It is basically finished. Rough first draft going into a second reading by me and a few other trusted sets of eyes for feedback. Not quite ready for professional editing but getting there.

The process for this is so different from my first book which basically wrote itself. There it was a matter of just listening and taking dictation. While a good bit of listening and taking dictation is true for this book, it is much more of a collaborative effort. With this book, I had no real idea where I was heading and each new development unfolded in quite miraculous ways. At least for me. And it still is.

I began writing near the winter solstice of 2017. It is now June of 2019. I’m hoping to have this published before the end of this year but this next phase is grueling as I have no talent on the publishing side of this venture. Most likely it will be self-published through Amazon’s service again but that has changed dramatically since my first book too. So, it’s a whole new ballgame for me.

Finally…this book is a big step into new territory for me and I’ll admit to being a bit…uncomfortable…claiming this new space. But you know? I think that is the way of the world right now. All of us, in one way or another, are being challenged to embrace the discomfort of transformation. To dare to push the boundaries of what we perceive as “reality.” Because in the words of a wise tunesmith, “The real world is really unreal.”

Game on. I’ll drop another note along with way letting you know where I’m at in this midwifing of my new book. Thanks for being there.

Redefining Death

PhotoMoodySmartt

For over a year I spent studying one on one with Dr. Raymond Moody, by phone or at his home. I learned so very much from this brilliant, gentle and funny man. From ancient Greek philosophy to the logic of nonsense to the use of a psychomanteum as a vehicle to address grief, he shared generously of his vast store of knowledge and expertise as a medical doctor, doctor of philosophy, and forensic psychiatrist.

And yet…after 50 years of research into near death and shared death experiences, reincarnation…virtually all things surrounding death…he never concluded that consciousness survives death. I cannot now give you the very lengthy definition he used for death…but… it came to the idea of complete annihilation. Period. Zilch. The end. Forever. All work in the field of life after death attempted to explain the paradox of…life…after…death. The phrase is nonsensical.

I suggested something to him that I am not sure he appreciated. I suggested that the very definition was wrong…was predicated on a falsity. I suggested that the definition of death needed to be redefined. I mean…who got to stipulate what death was? And when? Certainly, the ancient Egyptians and other cultures had a vastly different view of death. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” In any case, after all these years and all this study, it just might be time to redefine death.

With that I invite you today to register for Dr. Moody’s free webinar, “I’m Convinced.” It kicks off the opening of his new online school, The University of Heaven. With his colleague, Lisa Smartt, they will be offering courses of study in many facets of the death. There will be many of the top people in the field of consciousness as guest teachers. And finally, after more than 50 years in the field, Dr. Moody will address his conclusion on whether consciousness does indeed survive what we call death.

For those of you, like me, who have been avid readers and admirers of his work since the beginning, this is a momentous occasion. Dr. Moody is an incomparable teacher, mentor…and friend. I hope you will join “us” this coming Tuesday, October 30th at 7pm ET.

 

University of Heaven

I send along the address of Dr. Raymond Moody’s new University of Heaven. There are some articles and blog posts already preceding its official opening in November. Considered the grandfather of the modern near-death experience, he is legendary in the field of death, dying and what might come afterward. He and his colleagues will be teaching online. What an amazing opportunity to learn from a master in the comfort of your own home.

He is my friend and mentor. His guidance has inspired the new book I continue to work on that should be published in 2019.

http://theuniversityofheaven.com/

Today, people still deny the existence of a spiritual realm

Without this understanding, my new book ,which continues to unfold in often surprising ways, could not even begin. Go on…take a deep breath.

The great Rudolf Steiner Quotes Site

Just as mankind has to do with the three realms of nature, he also has to do with three spiritual realms. Now you may say: It is of no consequence whether I believe it or not, for these three kingdoms are not visible, not perceptible. Yes, gentlemen, I have known people, to whom it had to be explained that air exists! They could not believe that there was something like air. When I say to such a person, this is a table – that he can believe, for when he goes to the table, he can knock on the table, and when he looks at it, he sees the table with his own eyes, but he cannot bump into the air. He looks around and says, there is nothing here. However, everyone nowadays admits the existence of air. The existence of air is simply accepted.

In the same way, it…

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Divine Dissatisfaction

boosting-creativity-2 (1)

Listening to my inner guidance while writing my latest book has led me down some surprising avenues. At times, I question my ability to fulfill its edicts. It has me pushing through a lot of self-doubt. Not long ago I came across this conversation between two of the greatest choreographers of the twentieth century: Martha Graham, a pioneer of modern dance and Agnes De Mille, whose choreography for musicals like “Oklahoma” revolutionized musical comedy theatre. Agnes was confused because work she did that she felt was very good was relatively ignored while other works of hers she felt were just okay received acclaim. The following is Martha Graham’s advice to her. I have a copy of it taped to the wall before my computer so I can remind myself what this is all about. I hope you also will find value in it…because we are all Agnes.

A Letter to Agnes DeMille : Martha Graham

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time,
this expression is unique.

 If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium
and be lost. The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is;
nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions.
It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly,
to keep the channel open.

You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.
You have to keep open and aware directly
of the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.
No artist is pleased.

There is no satisfaction whatever at any time.
There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction;
a blessed unrest that keeps us marching
and makes us more alive than the others.

 

 

What is Real?

Reality

A lot of new people have joined the community recently and I want to thank each one of you for sharing this journey with me. I don’t post as many original blogs these days as I am committed to writing my new book. It’s a bit of a surprise as I never thought I would write another book after The Art of Death Midwifery. Then this past winter solstice the premise of a book struck me like lightning. I’ve been writing every day since.

This book draws on all the various experiences of my life and yet…I am often stunned by what is evolving. Generally, I do not talk about a book while I am writing it but because of its surprising nature I spoke with my friend and mentor, Dr. Raymond Moody, about it. I have such deep respect for this work, his intelligence, his experience and his genuinely kind heart that I wanted to run it by him and see what he thought. He is a medical doctor and a psychiatrist in addition to being the grandfather of the modern near-death experience after all.

After I laid out what has transpired in the writing of this book thus far, I asked him, “Am I nuts?” Yes, those exact words. He very thoughtfully assessed what I told him and how I told it to him. “No,” he said, “Your voice is energetic and bright but I do not detect any signs of psychosis.” He also assured me that what I had described to him is not out of the range of possibility. In fact, he said with all the discoveries in science and our universe, with all the infinite possibilities we continue to discover, he asked, “What is real?” Or as my much-loved songwriter sang, “The real world is really unreal.”

As much as I wish I didn’t feel the need for validation, it was great comfort to get the Dr. Moody seal of approval, with his promise to read my book before publication.

This book is coming together in an entirely different way than my first and one thing I am discovering is that body chemistry plays an important role in my being able to sense the very subtle energies I connect with. A few months ago, I had to change thyroid medications. I had a choice of going lower than my normal dose or higher as the new medication didn’t offer the exact dose I was on. I tried lower and saw that gradually I began to gain some weight. So just recently, I tried the higher dose. That felt awful…sleep difficulties, feeling like being crushed in a vise…and an inability to sense the subtle energies required for my work to go forward. So…I had to make a choice: weigh less and give up the work or go down to the lower dose, gain a few pounds and restore the sensitivities needed. As much as I dread gaining weight, the choice is clear. I’m back to the lower dose and beginning to be able to sense the subtle energies again. Whew! It was a little scary when they left.

Vanity aside, it becomes clear that in order to do the work that is unique to you…and each of us have that work…the work that only you can do and that is very much needed by the world…you will be called to make sacrifices…large and small. It is my wish that the choice will be easy for each of you.

So…I’ll check in from time to time with an original thought but mostly I will send along quotes from Rudolf Steiner and others that touch in some small way upon the work I am doing. And if you are currently pursuing the work that the Universe asks of you, the work only you can do, I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment on this page and let us know what that is…if you can.

Until then…